18 December 2012

Modern postmortem photography

Over the years I've posted several articles about postmortem photography, but I seem to have overlooked the wonderful group Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  They were featured in the On Faith column of the Washington Post several years ago.
Baugher is one of a small but devoted number of professional photographers who volunteer at hospitals to take pictures of heartbreakingly short-lived joy. A Colorado-based group, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, sends professional photographers, if the families request them, to quietly record a child's brief life.

The organization has more than 7,000 volunteer photographers across the United States, including in the Washington region, and two dozen countries... The photographers stay at the periphery, quietly working without a flash as they record the fleeting moments.

The idea is macabre only for people who haven't lived through it, say Ken and Amy Salter, who became the parents of twin boys born last fall, one of whom died after months in neonatal intensive care. 
My graduate school roommate's wife volunteers part of her time as a professional photographer to the NILMDTS group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  If you know someone with a fatally ill child, you might keep this organization in mind.


  1. Oh my god. What heartbreaking stories.

  2. I have friends who now volunteer as photographers after their son was stillborn and a NILMDTS volunteer helped them to document their experience. As a pastor, I have had occasion, sadly, to let people know about the organization in difficult circumstances. The volunteers make a difference in ways no one can understand unless they have walked through the experience.

  3. Technically I think this would be pre-mortem photography

  4. I am currently getting my portfolio together to get over to them. I love the concept of this and tritely feel that post-mortem photography /the art of the momento Mori should make a comeback.
    NILMDTS mission is a noble one, and I look forward to hopefully working with them in the future.


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